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Review: ‘Hush, Little Beachcomber’

Heading to the beach with an iPad? Like Stephen Huneck’s Sally Goes to the Beach, Hush, Little Beachcomber is sure to put you in the mood for a day of sun and surf.

Screen from 'Hush, Little Beachcomber' (Moritz) illus. by Holly McGee

Title: Hush, Little Beachcomber
Author: Dianne Moritz
Illustrator: Holly McGee
Published by: Kane Miller
Developed by: Demibooks Studio
Platform: iOS, requires 4.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Price: $2.99; purchase through iTunes or Demibooks® Storytime

PreS-K-The classic lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” has been updated with multiethnic characters, bright illustrations, and a beach setting in Moritz’s Hush, Little Beachcomber (Kane Miller, 2011). Outside of the lyrics (which are sung), the music, and an occasional sound effect, the digital version adds little to the original format. Only 5 of the 24 pages contain animations, and other than these, there are none of the extras that distinguish an app from an ebook.

The app opens in autoplay mode. Users must advance past the title page and begin listening to the verses to locate the settings icon where they can choose to mute the sound by (counterintuitively) choosing “Sing to me.” Between the arrows that turn the pages are the words “play tune.” If tapped, the traditional tune is heard. Unfortunately for listeners it’s either lyrics or music; the two cannot be heard simultaneously.

In Mortitz’s story, the traditional lullaby has been altered to reflect all the pleasures of a day at the beach: wading and swimming, collecting seashells, making sand pies and seaweed soup, and eating ice cream. As an ebook, Hush, Little Beachcomber delivers, but those looking for an interactive app may be disappointed.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library, Southington, CT

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  1. It’s all great for adults who have fiihnsed their basic education, but I do not agree with? parents using technology like this to teach reading. Reading involves mentally translating symbols into images, ideas, and feelings, whereas technology like TV and computers do that for you (images/sounds), reducing your ability to do the reverse (images/feelings into words). Many kids can’t express themselves in correct- colorful ways,and must cultivate good reading habits before the excitement of iPad